Diagnosing Heart Attacks
When diagnosing heart attacks, doctors will ask questions about things such as current symptoms and heart disease risk factors, and perform a physical exam. Tests used in making a heart attack diagnosis include electrocardiograms (EKGs), blood tests, and nuclear heart scans.
In order to make a heart attack diagnosis, the healthcare provider will work quickly to find out if you are having or have had a heart attack. He or she will ask a number of questions about your:
- Current symptoms
- Heart disease risk factors
- Family history of medical conditions
- Current medications
- Other conditions.
Your healthcare provider will also perform a physical exam looking for signs or symptoms of a heart attack. He or she will also order certain tests or procedures. Initial tests will be quickly followed by heart attack treatment if you are having a heart attack.
Tests for diagnosing heart attacks include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Blood tests
- Nuclear scans
- Cardiac catheterization with angiography.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
An electrocardiogram is used to measure the rate and regularity of your heartbeat. A 12-lead EKG is used in diagnosing a heart attack.